DWS welcomes the arrest of a senior manager for double dipping salaries

28th March 2023 By: Creamer Media Reporter

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) on Tuesday welcomed the arrest of a director who was allegedly “double dipping” by way of earning a salary from both the DWS and the Moses Kotane local municipality in the North West province.

The department, in a statement, said that the matter came to its attention in September 2022 when the municipality, where the departmental official was still employed, enquired into the employment status of the departmental official.

A formal investigation by the department’s chief directorate: internal audit confirmed that the official was indeed double dipping as she was dually employed by both the DWS and the municipality.

She was appointed to the department in April 2022 after a post became vacant where she applied, was shortlisted, interviewed and then appointed on merit but seemingly did not resign from her former position with the municipality.

“During this time, she continued to receive an income from both entities for a period of six months. The investigation revealed that she was able to achieve this by submitting applications to the municipality for leave of absence in the form of sick, vacation and study leave to justify her continued absence from the municipality while at the same time rendering full-time services to the department,” the DWS explained in its statement.

Following the investigation, disciplinary proceedings were initiated by the DWS against the said official.

“Pursuant to several attempts to unsuccessfully delay the disciplinary proceedings, the official eventually pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and dishonesty. The chairperson’s report on sanction is currently being finalised.”

The municipality accordingly reported the matter to the South African Police Services (SAPS) for further handling and investigation, with the department sharing its investigation report and supporting evidence gathered during the investigation with the SAPS in order to expedite their investigation.

The official was arrested on March 27 when the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigations and the Asset Forfeiture Unit executed a Warrant of Arrest.

“The department upholds its stance of zero tolerance to fraud and corruption and welcomes the arrest as a sign of government’s commitment to fighting fraud and corruption. This swift action should be construed as a grave general deterrent to all other officials within the public service as well as those members of the public who interact with public service departments and entities, that any contravention of any laws, will be met with rigorous consequences,” the DWS concludes.